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Zachary Shemon Image

Zachary Shemon

Assistant Professor of Saxophone

Zach Shemon is assistant professor of saxophone at the University of Missouri-Kansas City Conservatory of Music and Dance and alto chair in the acclaimed PRISM Quartet. Additionally, he spends his summers serving on the music faculties at the Interlochen Arts Camp and Interlochen Saxophone Summer Institute. He previously served as an associate instructor of saxophone at Indiana University while completing a Performer Diploma and Doctor of Music (in progress). Prior to his time at IU, he studied at the University of Michigan, receiving degrees in saxophone performance (BM, MM) and engineering (BME). He also studied at the Université Européenne de Saxophone in Gap, France and the Aspen Music Festival and School, where he held the saxophone fellowship. His primary teachers are Donald Sinta and Otis Murphy.

Shemon’s performance career has led to appearances around the globe as a soloist, chamber musician, and various other concert settings. Since joining the PRISM quartet in 2007, the ensemble has recorded on the Albany, innova, Naxos, New Dynamic, and New Focus labels and performed on many of the world’s leading festivals for contemporary music including the Bang on a Can Marathon, Beijing Modern Music Festival, and SONiC Festival. He has appeared with the quartet as a soloist with the Arizona State Symphony Orchestra, Boston Modern Orchestra Project, Cornell Symphony Orchestra, Pacific Symphony, and UMKC Conservatory Wind Symphony. PRISM is also committed to educational outreach and has held residencies at music institutions around the world including the Beijing Conservatory, Curtis Institute, Rice University, and Tianjin Conservatory, among others.

As a soloist, Shemon was awarded 1st prize at the inaugural International Saxophone Symposium and Competition in Columbus, Georgia, and was the winner of the Indiana University Concerto Competition. He has appeared as a concerto soloist with the Indiana University Philharmonic and Michigan Philharmonic orchestras, as well as with the University of Michigan Concert and Symphony Bands. Active in the saxophone community, he regularly performs at national and regional conferences held by the North American Saxophone Alliance. Performance highlights of 2013–14 include an appearance at Carnegie Hall with the PRISM Quartet, as well as performances at Kansas City’s Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts as a soloist and with the Kansas City Symphony. Shemon is a Conn-Selmer artist and performs on Selmer (Paris) saxophones. He is also a D’Addario performing artist, performing on Reserve Classic reeds and aiding in product research and design.

UMKC Saxophone Workshop